1235 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee FL •  850.942.2557


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Summer Fruit

Taste The Sunshine...

Courtesy of Weaver Street Market, North Carolina
Written by Carolyn Twesten, Produce Merchandiser
Adapted by Diane Bass, New Leaf Market Co-op Graphic Designer & Marketing Assistant

Summer is here and with it comes all of our favorite, juicy fruits! This time of year it’s easy to get your vitamins in delicious, colorful little packages. Usually, we have tasty regional delights to look forward to, but Mother Nature had different ideas this year. Due to major storms in the region (Irma for one), melons, citrus and berry crops are scarce, so be sure to snag any local produce you come across this season. We’re working to get as much of the local stuff in as we can! Even with limited crops in Florida and Georgia, we can still enjoy all the summer flavors we’re accustomed to, while lending a helping hand to our friends on the West Coast, who are recouping from losses from the 2017 wildfires.

High temps and Melon go hand in (sticky) hand. A nice slice of watermelon is so refreshing when the sun is blazing, which is precisely why it’s a staple at BBQs and beach trips all season long. We’ve already been snacking on these, and should have plenty available through August, at least. Cantaloupes can’t be beat for a sweet addition to salads, prosciutto wrapped hors d’oeuvres, or a final touch to a full, southern-style breakfast.
Be on the lookout for: mini seedless watermelons, cantaloupes, red seedless watermelons

One local treat we can count on in July/August is Muscadine Grapes, from Lady Bird Organics. Did you know you can actually make pie with these bad boys? Technically, just the skins. That means you can enjoy their sweet-tart flesh, and have your pie, too. Who knew? Muscadines are a southern specialty and a locally grown superfruit! The antioxidant value of muscadines surpasses even blueberries and pomegranates. Much of the nutritional value is in the skin and seeds though, which many people spit out. Try this instead: freeze the muscadines whole and add to your morning smoothie to get the full nutritional benefits.

Oh, Irma. We’ll continue to see the fallout from this massive storm for years to come. One of her many disastrous effects was an estimated $2.5 billion in damage to Florida’s agriculture community. That means we’ll need to look elsewhere for the majority of our Citrus this year. Luckily, California citrus supplies are steady and already heading our way.
Be on the lookout for: lemons, navel oranges, Valencia oranges, limes, grapefruits

From apricots to mangos, to olives, to coconuts, Drupes (or stone fruits) are an eclectic group. While some of these are available fairly regularly, others are strictly seasonal. Peaches may be the most temperamental of the bunch, only available fresh until around mid-August. Nectarines, plums and pluots are also at their prime during summer months.
Be on the lookout for: yellow nectarines, yellow peaches, white peaches, black plums, Flavorosa pluots

Berries are nature’s version of bite-sized snacks, and they are at peak season right now! Florida strawberry crops are doing great this year, despite cold spells and rough storms. Georgia crops of blackberries and blueberries did suffer from the rain, however. We’ll do our best to have local options on the shelves, but supplies are limited.
Be on the lookout for: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries

Pears aren’t technically a summer-only fruit, but we love reliable Bartletts and Boscs anyway. These are some of the peariest flavors you’ll find, and they pair perfectly with some of our other summer faves. The zing of citrus balances out the mellow sweetness of a Bartlett. While the deep, dense sweetness of a Bosc pear is perfect for baked goods…did someone say peach & pear pie? This pomaceous fruit will see you through to fall, when a whole new palette of fresh flavors become available!
Be on the lookout for:  green bartlett, red bartlett, bosc


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